The warning comes from Consumer Affairs Victoria, which outlined the the scam, which usually begins with an unsolicited phone call.
“Typically, the scammer makes contact by phone, threatening the person who takes the call with arrest, legal action or even imprisonment if they do not make a payment for a ‘debt’ they owe the ATO,” Consumer Affairs Victoria warned.
Scammers often press the phone call recipient for credit card details, personal information, or may request a payment via wire transfer.
The regulator noted that regional areas have been the main targets of this particular scam, and that similar fraudulent activity is common at this time of year.
A similar ‘rebate scam’ was also detailed in the warning to consumers.
“A variation of this scam involves the scammer telling the person the ATO owes them money, then requesting an ‘administration’ or other type of fee to secure their refund.”
Consumer Affairs Victoria noted that the ATO never cold calls regarding debts, and that jail or arrest is never threatened.